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so as entirely to conceal the neck; second, with a plate of steel or brass, called a campein, covering the front of the face, with openings for the ears and nostrils. Add to these a bridle, cumbrous in the extreme, with no end of leather ; half-a-dozen chains, and a curb a foot long on the cheeks; a high, huge saddle; ponderous stirrups, crupper, and all the etcetera ; then put on his back a portly rider, steel to the teeth, with sword, axe, and mace, and you have before you a picture of what in the days of Harry VIII. a war horse had to undergo.” This cannot be better described than in the words of Scott, who, in the "Lay of the Last Minstrel,” speaks thus of the steed whose function it was to bear William of Deloraine
“For he was steel from counter to tail,
And the rider was armed, complete, in mail.” It must be held, taking all the circumstances into account, that the horses, to move under such enormous incumbrance, never could have also been capable of the agility which is now essential to take part in the military evolutions of our modern troopers. Strong backs must, indeed, have been required when the mail shown in the Tudor Exhibition was actually in use, either for men, or the horses which bore the men. And the truly awful spurs which were then made use of (see entries at the same show) tell us that the horses to which they were applied could not have been very thin in the skin, nor of too skittish a temperament. This consideration again points to horses of the character of the modern Shire breed having been employed, as do the facts that the Shire horse is singularly amenable to discipline, and that he is willing to keep steady among the most frightful of sounds and sights.
Art and Sport at
Sport at the Grosvenor.
WITH so much to charm and interest at the Grosvenor Gallery, we shall perhaps be classed among the grumblers if, like poor Oliver, we ask for more. A whetted appetite is invariably a keen one; it grows by what it feeds upon. The canvases of Sartorius, father and son, Reinagle, Alken, above all those of Stubbs, show us what treasures of the art that has done so much for the horse must rest in many of the stately homes of England; and the question naturally arises, Why were they not at the Grosvenor? The pictures of Stubbs are, it is not too much to say, a cult among that large class of Englishmen who, with means to gratify their taste, have sought eagerly for the efforts of the first English painter who, with a thorough knowledge of the anatomy of the horse, placed that knowledge on his canvases. We could mention the names of several noble and gentle men who do not allow the acquisition of a Stubbs to stand between their pockets and their inclination. Where are these records ? An odd volume of the Sporting Magazine of 1809 is before us, and in it an article “respecting the merits and labours of George Stubbs, Esq., R.A.,” giving a
giving a list of the most celebrated pictures painted by him; and we are glad to note that an ancestor of the present Duke of Westminster was then a large possessor of many Stubbs, with which his descendant has liberally endowed the Grosvenor. The article, by the way, mentions that the painting which got Stubbs his diploma of R.A. was a Stag Hunt. Where is it, we wonder? Or did the writer in the Sporting Magazine make what we are all occasionally bound to makea mistake-and was not the diploma of R.A. conferred for the Grosvenor Hunt (96), painted in 1762, with portraits of Lord Grosvenor, Mr. Thos. Grosvenor, and Sir Roger Martyn? We only put forward the suggestion. The chronicler of the day might have erred.
To the article in the Sporting Magazine to which we have referred is added a portrait of Stubbs. A noble expanse of brow, with a physiognomy of much intelligence, clear bright eyes, and a resolute mouth and chin, proclaim the man. We are glad to know that Mr. Walter Gilbey-who, as we have before mentioned, is a happy owner of many Stubbs, and is a large contributor to the Arts and Sports—is engaged on a monograph of Stubbs that should prove a very interesting little work. Stubbs is, just now, a good deal in the air. His name runs glibly off the lips of many worthy people who, a decade or two ago, hardly knew it. It will run more glibly still, we think, after the education which “Art and Sport” will give the rising generation. To this great artist we owe the knowledge of what the horse of a hundred or a hundred and thirty years ago was like. As before him the anatomy of the horse seems to have been unstudied, we cannot accept these wonderful pre-Stubbs portraits as anything but fancy sketches. The artist was correct as to colour, probably brought out good points, and courteously slurred over defects; but as a rule the horses are wooden horses, as the hounds of that day are wooden hounds. It was given to George Stubbs—to the man who for six long years withdrew into Lincolnshire, and there worked hard at his great work, “ The Anatomy of the Horse," an addendum to which he commenced when he was over eighty years of age-to show us the noble animal as he really was. The great attraction the Grosvenor Gallery just now offers is the opportunity given us of comparing the horses of to-day with those of the last century;
Step us wonrvival ofon has ram
and surely the theory of evolution has rarely received stronger confirmation. “The survival of the fittest,” as exemplified by Bend Or, makes us wonder how the Godolphin Arabian, as depicted by Stubbs and Butler, could have been the great ancestor of such illustrious descendants. Even the great Eclipse cannot pass the ordeal of modern criticism; and before his portrait and the record of his deeds we pause in doubtful astonishment. Heavy shoulders, flat sides, stilty forelegs (sometimes crooked), fiddle-heads, and upright pasterns are the characteristics of the horses of that day. They were weightcarriers evidently, and “ Shark” and “Jupiter,” both painted by Stubbs, show this in a great degree, but “Flying Childers " is a leggy, long-necked horse, and it is not till we come to “ Queen of Trumps,” “ Charles XII.,” “Faugh-a-Ballagh," and “Elis” that we recognise the horse of to-day. Perhaps what we might call a grand specimen of a transition animal is • Orville,” painted by Clidon in 1808. He won the Leger six years previously. There is both power and quality, in which * Selim,” by the same artist, is lacking. “The bloodyshouldered Arabian," so called from a red mark on his shoulder, is another of these extraordinary ill-shaped horses at whom we wonder; he has hardly a good point about him, yet he sired many winners.
And while we look upon the Arabians of the past, it is not easy to keep our thoughts from turning to that controversy, on the merits of the Arab of to-day, which every now and then crops up in sporting literature. Indeed, only last month BAILY had a very ably-written article on “the gentlest, the gamest, the noblest, the best," from the pen of a gentleman thoroughly competent to write on the subject, and who, though as he would probably acknowledge, “afflicted with the Arab craze," is yet, from a long residence in the East, bound to speak with a certain authority on the subject. Almost simultaneously with his article appeared a letter in the Field, from the Honourable Etheldred Dillon, a zealous supporter of the Arab horse, which insists on his claim to be a hunter, in the highest sense of that term. Miss Dillon certainly gives chapter and verse for her assertions, and maintains that no day can be too long nor fence too stiff for the English as well as the pure-bred Arab. She controverts Mr. Charles Armstrong's opinions in his report in the third volume of the Hunters' Improvement Society, on the show at Islington last year, that the modern Arab is a “ pony breed,” and mentions one or two instances in which small Arab mares (14 hands) have produced colts 15.2. As Miss Dillon is so well known in Dorsetshire, and this season is hunting chiefly with the Heythrop, her Arabs must be equally good at banks and stone walls. Her letter has already commanded much attention ; but whether it will convert us from what Miss Dillon, no doubt, considers the error of our ways, and encourage us to send our mares to imported Arabs; and roomy Arab mares, if they can be procured, to English sires, we cannot say. It unfortunately happens that all the Arabs we have seen at Islington in past years came under Mr. Charles Armstrong's definition of “a pony breed," and we never remember a horse or mare 15 hands. Granting everything we owe in the past to the blood of the Desert, to the Darley Arabian, the Byerley Turk, and the Godolphin Barb, can we tolerate, ought we to attempt, a retrograde movement now, when we have been trying for the last two hundred years for size and substance ?
But we are wandering from the record, for which the Grosvenor Gallery must bear the blame. The contrasts between the old generation and the new, as seen on its walls, suggest ideas that must find ventilation in other columns. We have hardly mentioned the dogs, and yet Stubbs and Cooper are there at their best. As to the first-named belongs the honour of being the first artist who studied the anatomy of the horse, so we verily believe was he a leader when spaniel or hound were his subjects. Mr. Walter Gilbey shows a spaniel by Stubbs (2), and a pointer by Cooper (54), both admirable. The coursing pictures of J. N. Sartorius are charming, the drawing perfection ; but the same artist seems to fail in the hounds. Or was it the fault of the hound of that day, and not the artist? By the way, returning for a moment to our favourite Stubbs, we regret to see a clever writer, whose novels have won him a certain celebrity, speaking of this artist in these words : “In him the painter never triumphed sufficiently over the groom, and his work reeks too strongly of the stable.' If by this it is meant that Stubbs never sought to idealise his subjects, that he painted horse and dog as they really were, with all their blemishes and defects, then it is the highest praise; though evidently the writer did not mean this. But that Stubbs was an artist as well as a groom, there are one or two pictures of his in the Grosvenor to convince Mr. George Moore, if he would on another visit take the trouble of looking at them. “The Gentleman on the Grey Horse," which in our first article we mentioned as one of the finest Stubbs in the gallery, shows the artist distinctly as a colourist. There is a shooting canvas of his too-Sir John Nelthorpe with two pointers, a very good bit of colour. No, the man who wrote “The Anatomy of the Horse” was something more than a groom.
And we have kept one of the best things in the gallery until the last. That Mr. Archibald Stuart-Wortley (the prime mover of the exhibition) should be represented by one or two of his well-known pictures, in which the artist and the sportsman combine their work, was only right. Few visitors to the Grosvenor but will pause long and admiringly at one in which Mr. Stuart-Wortley has shown himself at his best. As we have
VOL. LIII.— NO. 361.
had the misfortune to differ from Mr. George Moore in our estimate of an artist of old days, we are glad to be able to agree with and quote his words in speaking of one living : "Mr. Stuart-Wortley, in his double capacity of artist and sportsman, has had sometimes to sacrifice art to sport, and vice versa. It is only fair to say that he has gone very near to uniting both in his picture of The Lost Royal.'”
J. C. C.
My Favourite Salmon Rod.
An Angler's Lay.
BY CAPTAIN CLARK-KENNEDY, F.R.G.S., ETC., LATE
FROM your cover once more you're triumphantly drawn,
For the salmon are up from the sea !
Is waiting, old favourite, for me!
You grew on the banks of the Lee; *
And you are delightful to me!
Right away from the top to the reel;
Proud memories over me steal,
Will cover your glorious scars;
This tribute to Venus and Mars.
In “Norroway over the foam";
And we conquer wherever we roam !
Say, where shall we open the fight?
For in Erin we're sure to be right!
* The banks of the Lee, county Cork, are justly famed for “greenheart" rods and. pretty girls.